The Georgia Senate has passed a bill legalizing firearms on all public colleges in Georgia, following a two-hour floor debate heavy on emotion, but light on facts against this common sense expansion of gun rights.
Opponents continued their fear-mongering tactics, speaking of shootouts in classrooms for no reason – despite this never having happened in any state where campus carry is legal.
House Bill 859, now passed by both houses, goes to the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal, who has already committed ot sign the measure into law.
Once that signature happens, anyone 21 or older with a valid concealed carry license will be legally allowed to carry a gun anywhere on a public college or university campus, except inside dorms, fraternity and sorority houses, and at athletic events.
The bill does mandate that all firearms on campus must be concealed, something proponents yielded said makes the bill safer because concealed carry license holders have already completed finger prints and background checks.
Once Gov. Deal signs the law, Georgia will officially be the ninth state to allow campus carry with another almost two dozen allowing each school to decide.
The move comes after years of foot-dragging by the University System of Georgia, but the legislature grew weary of delays based on nothing more than panic and moved forward with the bill, forcing the universities and colleges hand.
Supporters of the legislation have also linked their effort to the safety of students, noting events such as recent robberies at Georgia State University’s downtown Atlanta campus library that is only steps from the state Capitol.